Frequently Asked Questions About Anesthesia Solutions

Most people experience a degree of anxiety when the doctor recommends that they must have a surgical procedure done, and as a result, people usually will have questions about anesthesia solutions. In this article, we are going to discuss the answers to some of these more frequently asked questions.

Does the Patient Need to Arrive with an Empty Stomach?

The patient absolutely needs to arrive on an empty stomach. When your body experiences sedation, your normal reflexes will relax, and this can cause the contents of your stomach to travel elsewhere in your body. This, of course, causes concerns, because your food can end up in your mouth, windpipe, or even in your esophagus. Your food contains acid, and if it should enter into your lungs, this can cause you to develop a serious condition called aspiration pneumonitis.

How Will The Anesthesiologist Determine How Much Anesthesia to Give Me?

Your doctor will not administer anesthesia in the same way to all of his or her patients. There are a number of factors that influence how much or how little to give, and these can include the type of operation being done, the person’s weight, gender, and other health conditions that they may have. In addition, there are genetic issues, medications, and certain diseases that have a profound effect on the way an individual may process anesthesia. The anesthesiologist will monitor the patient’s breathing rate and pattern, their blood pressure, heart rhythm and rate, and how much anesthetic concentration is present in their exhalation, along with their oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. He or she will then adjust their anesthesia levels as needed. 

Your Pre-Anesthesia Visit

Prior to your surgery, you will need to meet with your anesthesiologist to discuss your care. He or she will let you know if there are several anesthesia solutions available to you, such as local or regional anesthesia, during which you will be awake and alert, monitored anesthesia care, during which you’ll be drowsy or lightly asleep, and general anesthesia, where you will be fully sedated. Your doctor will need to examine your medical records, and this will be the time to ask any questions you may have. During your examination, it may be determined that will need to have other tests done.

Your doctor will need to know about the reactions that you have had to anesthesia solutions in the past, and he or she will also need to know of any allergies you may have. Changes in health, hospitalizations, and long term health conditions will also need to be discussed, and your anesthesiologist will need to know if you have sleep apnea or acid reflux. You will need to know whether or not to take your medications prior to surgery, and you will also need to know at exactly what time you need to stop eating and drinking.